So you’ve decided you want to be come a classic car owner. Buying your first vintage motor can be an exciting time. But it can also be a bit daunting. Going to a classic car showroom is a very different prospect then going to your nearest main agent or used car dealer. There are a lot more things to consider when buying a vintage vehicle. Here’s our classic car buying guide to help you do things right.
Whether you know which car you want or not, it’s a good idea to go and see the car you want to buy in person first. It doesn’t have to be the exact same vehicle, it can just be the same make and spec as the car you want to buy. Classic cars need more care and attention, so when you see it in person, you’ll know whether you have the space to store it or not.
You can also get behind the wheel of the car and see how comfortable it feels. If you’re a taller or larger person (or both), it can be a squeeze getting behind the wheel of a classic. So try it on for size before you buy.
There tend to be two types of classic cars. Fully restored or well looked after classic cars that don’t need any work, and ones that need lots of restoration work to be carried out. For some, restoring the car to its former glory is the best part of the classic car owning experience. But if you aren’t good with your hands, don’t have the time or money, or simply just want to drive it straight away, then you’ll be after a car that you can test drive straight away.
When you look at buying a classic car, you want to see the paperwork that goes with it. Not just the MOT or registration documents, but the record of repairs that the car has had over its lifetime. This history shows you that the car has been well-cared for, but also gives you an idea of any major work it has undergone. If you can read through the paperwork and see the same sort of repairs coming up again and again, then it’s a warning sign. If the car doesn’t have a full history of paperwork, the price should be lower to reflect that.
Driving a classic car comes with all sorts of different quirks and intricacies that don’t always come up driving a modern car. So it’s a good idea to connect with fellow owners of your classic. You can also speak to them in advance of making a purchase for advice on what to look out for, and whether the one you have your eye on is a good buy. Plus it will add to your social life and give you an excuse to hit the road.
Most of all, have fun. From buying to driving, classic cars can be a fun and worthwhile hobby. But if you spend a lot of money on buying or restoring a classic, then you might hesitate before using it. Don’t! Get out on the road and enjoy yourself!